7 Vegetables to Grow from Seed

Growing vegetables from seed may take a little effort but it offers the gardener a few advantages. Apart from being less expensive, more varieties are available as seeds rather than seedlings.

Growing from seed also offers you the advantage of knowing the quality of your crop from beginning to end.

If you decide to start growing from seed, the next question is, “Which vegetables are easiest to grow from seeds?”

Growing vegetables from seed may take a little effort, but it offers the gardener a few advantages.
Growing vegetables from seed may take a little effort, but it offers the gardener a few advantages. (Photo: Brandon Giesbrecht/Flickr)

Growing Vegetables from Seeds

There’s nothing wrong with starting your garden from small plants that you purchase. Many people do.

There are a handful of vegetables that are challenging for beginners to grow from seed, after all. Those are best purchased as small starts from a nursery.

But then there are vegetables that are simply best grown from seed. Below are 7 of the easiest.

Beans

Bean plants are fast growers. They thrive in warm, moist soil. Plant bean seeds directly into the garden a few weeks after the last frost date – once the soil has warmed up in the spring.

Bush beans need no support, but pole beans need to climb something. You can provide poles, strings, trellises, or tepees for that purpose.

Bean plants are fast growers.
Bean plants are fast growers.

Beets

Beetroots will develop quickly and uniformly in loose soil. Before planting, work the soil to remove clumps of soil and stones.

If you prefer to harvest small beets, double the number of seeds in each row says Catherine Boeckmann for the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Crowding results in small roots. You can buy packets of mixed seeds or blend your own.

If you prefer to harvest small beets, double the number of seeds in each row.
If you prefer to harvest small beets, double the number of seeds in each row.

Carrots

Many beginners will grow carrots that are short and deformed. Provide well-drained, soft soil for your carrot seeds.

If need be, mix in some sand to loosen the soil a bit. Do not overcrowd carrots. Thin carrot seedlings to the proper spacing so they’re not overcrowded.

Thin carrot seedlings to the proper spacing so they’re not overcrowded.
Thin carrot seedlings to the proper spacing so they’re not overcrowded.

Squash

All types of squash are easy to grow from seed, says Amy Andrychowicz of Get Busy Gardening.

Wait until the ground has warmed in the spring and then direct sow the seeds in a sunny location. Experts recommend zucchini, butternut, and delicata for beginners.

All types of squash are easy to grow from seed.
All types of squash are easy to grow from seed.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers can be started indoors but they are sensitive to being transplanted. Your best bet is to plant the seeds directly into the garden a few weeks after the last spring frost once the soil is warm.

If possible, plant cucumbers in the sun next to a fence. The fence will serve as support for climbing.

You can also plant them near corn. The corn will trap the heat that cucumbers need and also serve as a windbreak.

If possible, plant cucumbers in the sun next to a fence.
If possible, plant cucumbers in the sun next to a fence.

Kale

Kale is an easy member of the cabbage family to grow. If you live in a warmer climate, you can plant kale seeds in your garden as soon as the soil has thawed in spring. Otherwise, they are easier to start indoors 3 to 6 weeks before the spring planting date.

You can set out the plants any time from early spring to early summer and kale will grow until it gets too hot.

If you live in a warmer climate, you can plant kale seeds in your garden as soon as the soil has thawed in spring.
If you live in a warmer climate, you can plant kale seeds in your garden as soon as the soil has thawed in spring.

Radish

Radish seeds are excellent companions for carrots. Mix radish seeds with carrot seeds before you sow, especially if your soil tends to develop a tough crust.

You should sow the seeds as soon as the ground thaws in early spring. The quick-to-sprout radishes will push up through the soil, breaking it up for the later-sprouting carrots.

Mix radish seeds with carrot seeds before you sow, especially if your soil tends to develop a tough crust.
Mix radish seeds with carrot seeds before you sow, especially if your soil tends to develop a tough crust.

Learning to Grow from Seeds

Growing vegetables from seeds can be difficult to master and can be intimidating to new gardeners. If you want to grow vegetables from seed for the first time, then it’s best to start with varieties that are easy.

The vegetables in the list above are some of the easiest vegetables you can grow. The list is by no means complete. There are many, many more vegetables for you to try to grow from seed.

Once you get the hang of these easy vegetables, you can add more to your list every year.

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